?? -- Putting rail on wooden bridge ties...

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Toadie77, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. Toadie77

    Toadie77 New Member


    This is my first post, but I have been trying to spend as much time searching and reading as possible. I have been spending some of my free time working on a HO scale diorama with a bridge. This has taken some time, but the bridge is almost complete (I think -- still finishing up the bracing)...


    Anyway, I obviously am not planning on using flextrack, and I have already purchased 100 and 70 gauge rail (smaller for the inside guard rails), but now I face the challenge of getting the rail on the bridge.

    I was thinking of using .07 nails bent and cut using a wire cutter drilling .05 pilot holes in the ties and then putting the rail down that way. Since I am not planning on using the rail for operation (only display) about every 4th or 5th tie with a spike should be fine right???

    Any thoughts on weathering the rail? I'm thinking it would be best to do this before spiking it down with some touch up later...

    The bridge turned out better than expected, so I want to try to keep it going in the right direction...

  2. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Nice looking bridge! Is it HO? If so I suggest using code 83, or 70, instead of the code 100. Code 100 is much heavier than would be used on wooden trestles.

    OK, about fastening the rails, I've attached a photo showing what I did on a similar bridge. The "tie plates" are bits of styrene, and I used small Micro Engineering spikes instead of the nails you mention. I found the heads of the spikes too big, so spent a little time filing them down some, they are still too big, but much better than if I hadn't bothered. I also drilled for them to avoid splitting the ties.

    If I were to do it again, I think I'd use Barge Cement, a glue used, from what I've read, for shoe repair! Similar to Pliobond it seems, but better. I can't remeber off hand the name of the store I got mine from, I did have to search a bit. I wound up on the internet, search for Barge Cement, I got mine from a clothing store in NY. About $4 a tube, plus shipping.


    Attached Files:

  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Nice looking bridges! :thumb: :thumb:

    Greg - welcome to The Gauge!

    I would second Gary's recommendation of smaller track - code 70 with code 55 guard rails? There is a technique for using pilobond and a soldering iron to fix the rail in place. However, you could do worse than follow Gary's technique with the styrene tieplates and track spikes... :D

  4. stump7

    stump7 Member

    Here is a picture of a bridge I finished yesterday. I don't have the patience, eye- sight, nor steadiness of hand to put in tie plates and spikes. I take pliobond, put a thin coating on the bottom of the rail and let it dry for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then place the rail on the ties and run a hot soldering iron over the top of the rail. Get it right the first time because you'll have a heck of a time getting the rail off if you want to. I used code 100 rail since I am into operational relialbility more than looks. Good luck and show us the finished results.

    Attached Files:

  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    That's it! Thanks for the details on the pilobond method. :D

  6. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Some very interesting bridges here folks. Well constructed and the info provided is helpful. Welcome to the Gauge Greg.
  7. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    i use a similar method but insted of pilobond i use hot glue applied to the rails then use a heavy iron to heat the advantage i'v found that the hot glue can be heated again to move rails .
  8. Toadie77

    Toadie77 New Member

    Thanks for all of the good advice,

    It is a HO scale bridge to be used in a diorama so I'm not really worried about the rails moving anywhere. I think I will try the track spike styrene plate method and see how it goes, I will only drill about every fourth tie and just nip the other spikes and glue them on top to look "real" -- that it my plan for now anyway.

    I live overseas so it is very hard to find any different varieties of glue, and I can't get it shipped over here.

    I guess I will make a trip back to the store for some smaller rail -- I can always use the 100 somewhere else.

    Thanks for posting the pictures of your bridges! It is hard to find good shots of the top of trestles -- especially model ones.

  9. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Mico Engineering makes "bridge flextrack" for both HO and N, IIRC. If I was building a long brige for a layout, I would probably use that. I have made two bridges in HOn3 using PC board ties - works well but no spike ot tie plate detail.

    Gary, that bridge you made looks awesome, but I bet it took quite awhile, no?

  10. KCS

    KCS Member

    If I was building that type bridge I would use Central Valley tie's and their code 81 rail along with their fish plates for jointed rail and other details they carry. Those are some really nice works of art.

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